A few years ago, I remember Imogen having a little pet hamster toy called a Go Go Pet. They were palm sized animals that seemed to have a life of there own. A name change and a tie in with a cartoon and movie, Zhu Zhu Pets are here to take over.
Zhu Zhu Pets Brief History
While over here in the UK in 2008 Go Go Pets seemed to arrive then disappear, over in the US their popularity took off. Over there they were branded as Zhu Zhu Pets and quickly became the must have toy. Original price setting saw them at $9 each, but due to lack of stock people where buying them at $60 each!
In 2011 there was a full length feature film released called Quest for Zhu. It was released straight to DVD. However in September 2016 a new animated comedy series debuted on the Disney Channel called The Zhu Zhus. The series centres around Frankie Pamplemouse and her four talking Hamsters Chunk, Num Nums, Mr Squiggles and Pipsqueak.
Zhu Zhu Pets
We have two Zhu Zhu Pets, Num Nums and Chunk. Num Nums is purple and wears pink glasses, Chunk is light blue with a long floppy hair do.
For some unknown reason both Imogen and Abigail wanted Chunk. Even though Imogen felt she was too old for these toys she still made a big deal about which one she wanted. Their fluffy coats are soft, but their hair dos on top are slightly stiffer almost like they have hair gel! Hamsters must look their best at all times.
Each Zhu Zhu has a sensor in it’s nose, one on it head and one on the back. To set the Zhu Zhu zooming simply press the button on it’s back. After a quick chirp and squeak it is off. If it hits a wall with it’s nose it will reverse and look for a new direction. Touching it on it’s head will calm it down and stop it from moving around. It will keep making noises for a few more minutes thought. Finally pressing the back button for 3 seconds will engage Dance Mode! Watch your Zhu Zhu though some fancy shapes across the dance floor. Both Zhu Zhu pets seemed to have different personalities and motions.
Zhu Zhu Pet Adventure Ball
The Adventure ball is pretty much a light weight Hamster ball. This allows your Zhu Zhu to roam free around the house. There is an extra part to this kit though that makes it work. A small piece of plastic is attached to your Zhu Zhu Pets base, which helps it glide inside the ball. I think this also adds extra stability to the hamster to prevent it falling over. Again, Imogen made out she was too old for this, but was desperate to have her turn of the ball!
Zhu Zhu Pet Hamster Wheel and Tube
After struggling to connect the Hamster Wheel and Tube in the right order we eventually got the piece of kit working correctly. This was more impressive that I thought and certainly amused the little Hoopsters!
By placing your Zhu Zhu pet at the entrance of the tube and starting them off with a press of their back. They run along the tube, enter the wheel, have a run around it and eventually climb back off the wheel and down the tube! Chunk loved the wheel, except he sometimes got stuck on the escape. Num Nums seemed to not like the wheel. Although we did see some anomalies with her. The first time she went on she climbed the tube and turned left. Every other time they have both turned right! But probably by pure bad luck 8 times in a row Num Nums would enter the wheel and reverse down the tube instead.
Zhu Zhu Pets Review
After we created our unboxing video, the kids returned to their rooms. Abigail carried all the Zhu Zhus up and made space for them on her bedroom floor. She continued to play with them with out being prompted. The craziness of their randomly emitting noises amuses her. Even just the Zhu Zhu Pet alone kept her occupied.
She then brought the Adventure Ball down in to the front room to continue to play with it. It seems to enjoy the free range of the living room most. I love that the ball adds a level of insulation and muffles the noises coming from it.
It looks like the franchise will be getting some momentum with the new Cartoon series on the Disney Channel. No doubt we’ll start seeing the characters popping up all over soon too.